Tuesday, September 29, 2015

August 30th – Morristown, NJ

County seat and a town of historical significance, Morristown, NJ was named for Robert Morris.  

Who Robert Morris was, is something every American should know.  Wikipedia says: 

Robert Morris, Jr., a Founding Father of the United States, was a Liverpool-born American merchant who financed the American Revolution and signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. 

This bustling downtown and surrounding area is an incredible mix of history, remembrance, and trendy modernism.  It has sites of major importance from the Revolution, large ornate churches, war memorials, and yet trendy shops and eateries.

Laurie had to work this particular Sunday, but suggested I drive her to work and look around the town with my camera.  I timed it so I’d be finished when she was getting out of work, so late afternoon, I parked on South Street, and began walking down the street NW towards a big park.  There are three major wonderfully constructed churches around the park.  The park itself, Morristown Green, was the site of the original courthouse and jail, and during the Revolution War days.

In the park are many sculptures. My favorite is the group of three life size gentlemen having a discussion.  The three men are General George Washington, Col. Alexander Hamilton being informed by the Marquis De Lafayette that the French were on their way to support the colonial Army. 

After the park, I headed north, and there is a large building the houses a Century 21 department store.  The building was a Baptist Church and was used as a smallpox hospital during the encampment of 1777.  There is a burial ground next door where they laid the Continental Soldiers that died. 

Across that street, there is a small park area where a statue of a man with a seeing eye dog stand.  Morris Frank and his dog, Buddy were founders of the modern dog guide movement.

From there, I walked down that street until the downtown area waned, turned southwest and then southwest back into town. I continued, lost in the sights and taking pictures. I found myself far to the south west of downtown, and turned again left.  I finally found myself walking by the hospital where Laurie works which I considered too far to conceive of walking there.  I walked past it, found myself in a residential area with great houses.  I didn’t know this area, but I knew which way I had to go, if the streets, highways, and train tracks would let me, to get back to the truck.  I came across the site of Washington’s Headquarters museum, The local train station, and even George and Martha’s a local restaurant.

During all of this, I came across a great little place called The Famished Frog with the Tavern, “Hops” next to it.  We later went there when she got off to talk to a man I met about local craft beers.

It was a long, hot day. I saw great things and got in a nearly 7 mile walk.  What fun it was.

Presbyterian Church

Downtown Morristown

South Street at the Green

Life in Morristown

Through the Green

Civil War Monument

left to right. The Marquis De Lafeyette, Col. Alexander Hamilton, and General George Washington

Monument for the Courthouse and jail that stood here in 1770

Morris Frank and Buddy

Colonial Army Smallpox Hospital building.  Plaques on wall are portraits of  patriots.

Morristown Courthouse Built 1827

First Baptist Church.  Across the street from the curthouse

A mix of period architecture

St. Peter's Episcopal Church.  Cemetary markers from the 1700s surround the building.

Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen located on the site of  historic 1917 Vail Mansion. Operated by famed NYC chef, Chris Cannon.

200 South Street. Morristown Town Hall. Shown here is  the Purple Heart Memorial

J. Robert Tracy Memorial Park.  World War Two and Korean Conflict Memorial. Inscrripton reads:
"By the grace of almighty God may all who pass this way hold sacred in their hearts the memories of those who fought and died that liberty may live"

The Father of our Country

Building long removed, but plaques remembers. George Washington School

Morristown Train Station

Spanish and American War Memorial

Back to my starting point,  Morristown United Methodist Church

A trendy eatery occupies the ground level and has tables on the sidewalk.  The building now houses the local Knights of Columbus Chapter and Council.  Embossed writing on the front says it was originally the home of the Young Men's Catholic Association, YMCA.

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